Lack Of Business Leadership Condemning White Supremacists/Nazi Is Shameful


Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of Merck (MRK), joined the growing list of executives who feel compelled by Trump’s words and policies to speak out against him. Frazier, one of the country’s most prominent black business leaders, quit Trump’s manufacturing council to “take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

He was the lone Fortune 500 business leader to condemn the President for his lack of criticizing directly the alt-right/Nazi demonstrators.

Business leaders have spoken against Trump previously. In January, his ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority country drew criticism from Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon; Howard Schultz, head of Stabucks; Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix and Tim Cook, CEO, Apple. In June, Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla and Bob Iger, head of Disney, quit Trump’s business council in protest of his withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, as did Lloyd Blankfein, CEO, Goldman Sachs.

But against prejudice? Mr. Frazier had the courage to do so.

Later on Monday, Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, quite the President’s Council. Then Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel, did the same and was somewhat more direct. ‘We should honor—not attack—those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to service when it does. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.’

On Tuesday, Scott Paul, head of the Alliance for American Manufacturing quit as he said it was ‘the right thing to do’.

And all of this in the face of CEOs becoming frustrated with Trump’s inability to get his health care, tax, infrastructure or deregulation plans through Congress. A stunning 50% of the CEOs, executives, government officials and academics surveyed at the Yale CEO Summit in June gave Trump an ‘F’ for his first 130 days in office. Only 1% gave him an ‘A’.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld noted that the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs that is often quick to comment on tax reform and regulations, hasn’t said anything about Trump’s initial failure to condemn white supremacists. The Business Roundtable did not respond to a request for comment. ‘The silence of the Business Roundtable is shameful.’, said Sonnenfeld.

For what ever reason, business leaders have gone silent. Perhaps it is that they want continuing Nazi support in buying their products and/or services.

It is stunning that in a day when my father fought against the Nazi regime in WWII to protect the America we all believe in, we are even using the hated word ‘Nazi’ in everyday conversation. If business leaders are really leaders, they should stand up for what is right and crush this ugliness right now.

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‘Alt-Right’ Is Another Word For Nazi. In Charlottesville, Brown Shirts Showed Their True Colors.

This article was written by Jeff Greenfield, the Emmy Award winner, in Politico 08.13.17.

It’s long past Passover, but the latest effusions from Donald Trump bring to mind the question that begins that ritual: “Why is this president different from all other presidents?”

Would any past president have not understood the need to read the collection of racists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and the euphemistically labeled “white nationalists” out of the company of decent men and women, rather than make morally bankrupt talk of violence “on many sides” and dog-whistling about the need to “cherish our history”? Would any past president have compounded the felony with a dismissive, clumsy tweet? (“Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!”)

But then, we have never had a president, of either party, or any political persuasion, so utterly disconnected from any understanding of our national history, of the still-unresolved fights over what it means to be a “real” American. Nor have we ever had a president who combines staggering historical and political ignorance with language skills that rank him somewhere around a developmentally challenged 9-year-old.

Consider how past Republican presidents dealt with controversies in which a political ally had crossed a clear bright line:

In 1976, on a flight after the Republican convention, conservative pop singer Pat Boone asked Gerald Ford’s agriculture secretary, Earl Butz, why the Republican Party couldn’t attract more black voters. “I’ll tell you what the coloreds want,” Butz said. “It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit.” When the comment was published in Rolling Stone—the author of the piece was Watergate figure John Dean—Butz was forced out of the Cabinet.

In September 1981, Interior Secretary James Watt was addressing lobbyists at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting. Speaking about the different advisory panels offering guidance to the department, he said of one: “I got a black, two Jews, a woman and a cripple. And I’ve got talent.” The remark got hearty laughter from his audience, but the insulting nature of the comment drew enough fire that he left the Cabinet a month later.

On December 5, 2002, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott spoke at the 100th birthday celebration of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who had run for president in 1948 on a segregationist third-party ticket. Lott said: “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we [the state of Mississippi] voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.” It was likely meant to be a small piece of flattery, but the idea that America would have been better off with a segregationist president stuck a nerve, and President George W. Bush rebuked Lott. Speaking to a mostly black audience at a religious meeting in Philadelphia, he said: “Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong … recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals.” Shortly thereafter, Lott stepped down from his post.

What these incidents illustrate is something more than the willingness of a president to reject offensive remarks from his side of the political aisle. They reflect an understanding that a president is not just the head of government, but the head of state as well. Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bush knew full well that the overwhelming majority of black voters would not be voting for them, but they could not permit such remarks to be deemed “acceptable.” These Republican presidents showed they understood that there were not “many sides” to a controversy when someone gives the back of his hand to one group of Americans or another, much less when someone turns his bigotry into a murderous attack on protesters.

Indeed, there was a time, not that long ago, when Republicans would actually campaign for the votes of African-Americans. Reagan gave a memorable speech to the Urban League in 1980, detailing what he called the failure of liberalism to make life better for American blacks. George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign speeches talked extensively about the failing schools in minority neighborhoods and “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

And Trump? The simplest explanation is that “nationalism”—an outlook championed by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and celebrated in his acceptance and inaugural speeches—is what’s behind Trump’s unwillingness to condemn the racists at Charlottesville. But think about it: Would any halfway rational political mind think that in condemning neo-Nazis and Klansmen, you would risk losing any part of your broader base? That crowd of losers in Charlottesville was tiny—no more than a few hundred people. Is there anything more than a small fragment of Trump’s supporters who genuinely sympathize with the white hoods and swastikas? (Some readers will no doubt answer yes, I know. I think otherwise.)

The more convincing explanation for Trump’s moral failure is that he is, and always has been, completely disconnected from any understanding of the American political tradition. It is why, uniquely among chief executives, he almost never quotes a past president or political figure or thinker, nor references any part of the country’s past. For Trump, there is no past; only himself, rising as a self-creation out of the mist. He feels no need to speak against the poison of bigotry because he has no clue about how that poison has infected our past, and still infects our present.

Among the many ways that Donald Trump is the most manifestly unfit president in American history, put this one near the top of the list.

For the article, go go:http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/13/why-trump-cant-say-the-obvious-215481

Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, said in a tweet on Saturday: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

Barack Obama: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love…” “…For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO: “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”

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The Lion Roared


At 1:05A (ET) on the last Friday of July, 2017, Senator John McCain went over the the Democratic side and put his left arm up as far as he could, and put it around Senator Diannne Feinstein and embraced her.

This was the defining moment for a man who was once a prisoner of war in Hanoi for over five and one-half years and served in the Senate for most of our lifetimes. Since announcing that he had brain cancer, and coming back dramatically to post his vote, this was his moment.

With the Vice President leaving his position in his chair high above the Senate floor, and descending into the well of the Senate and attempting to pressure the senior Senator from Arizona to vote for the ‘skinny repeal’ of the Health Care Act, drama was as high as a Frank Capra film. While John McCain did not give a Jimmy Stewart impassioned speech on this night, his actions spoke volumes on the American sprit of liberty.

At 1:29A, John McCain voted against his party, against his party’s Speaker of the House whom he did not feel he could trust, and against his party’s President who at one time said the Senator was not a war hero. There was applause on the Democratic side of the Senate chamber.

The final vote in the Senate was No 51 Yes 49. Somehow, with a minority the Democrats defeated the seven year Republican try to repeal the Health Care Act.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell at 1:39A, stated that this was ‘clearly a disappointing moment’.

For others, it was one of the greatest moments in their observance of the Senate.

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A Dizzying Display Of Dwippy Daffies


H.L. Mencken once said ‘On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.’

The moron observation was the last line of a column that appeared July 26, 1920, in the Baltimore Evening Sun, a newspaper Mencken helped found. The column was a sandblasting observation of the Presidential race of the day between two Ohioans, one a former Senator and the other a former Governor. The observed proof of the statement was the election of Warren G. Harding, the former Senator.

According to Time magazine, Harding preferred poker, socializing and, it was said, womanizing to working. He was considered one of the worst Presidents in the history of the United States up to 2017. Republican bosses favored Harding, however, finding him charismatic and pliant, and he won the presidency in 1920 promising to restore pre–World War I “normalcy” (his mangling of the word normality was ridiculed by critics).

In office, Harding appointed a slew of corrupt officials, prompting the Teapot Dome bribery scandal, which for the first time sent a Cabinet secretary to prison. An accused adulterer, Harding was the subject of a best-selling memoir by a woman who claimed to be his mistress and the mother of his illegitimate daughter.

Harding died in office. So much for #29.

Now, #45 has set even Harding’s unusual ascendancy and descent into slow motion with a dizzying display of dwippy daffies.

In one corner you have a sneak exposer in the office of Chief Of Staff who is the main link between the White House and the Grand Ole Party. This week it was learned that the COS was begging to keep his job because he could deliver big monies from GOP big daddy bucks with bucks to the defense of #45 should he get entangled in any sort of problem that may be interpreted by many as a ‘crime’. Begging to keep a job by suggesting he can get funding in case his boss is in legal trouble? Talk about being on shaky ground.

Then in another corner (corner #2) is the spooky master of inverted thought who creeps about with nasty words, with an anti-establishment agenda that critics accuse of xenophobia and misogyny, as only a person who headed up a right-wing news outlet website could do. He can influence thought and deed which can be included in #45’s scripts, like let’s boo #44 to the Boy Scouts (who will be eligible to vote by the time #45 is dead). And that is only when he is in a good mood.

In another corner is the grim family of #45, a couple of which are already under investigation and fully lawyered up.

Then there is the new guy who is not even a member of anything at present except he only reports to #45. He comes in on a visitor’s pass. He doesn’t need a corner. He is ‘cunningly braggadocios’ and comes after enemies with unrelenting scatter-shooting expletive-deleteds with a flair of a street bully with a bazooka thrown in. He is ‘The Mooch’, the self-proclaimed, self-made Truponian who was so hated by Corner One and Corner Two, that they both argued against his hire to #45. That of course was music to #45’s New York ears. While not yet hired, he is threatening to fire a host of people who he classifies as ‘Leakers’.

Last night, in a telephone conversation with Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, he unloaded. Sent out crap laden tweets. Then he removed Tweets he had sent. Some tweets were so filled with expletive deleted material, cable television news programs couldn’t even show most of them on TV. For a full account, go to:http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/anthony-scaramucci-called-me-to-unload-about-white-house-leakers-reince-priebus-and-steve-bannon.

In the meantime, Senators are harrumphing about the health care bills. In the third corner, the family is going too-and-fro from home to office to the Capitol, testifying and hiring more and more lawyers.

Of course this is all about throwing up different topics to keep others eyes off the ball…the ever present Russian ball.

And Robert Mueller went to work today, silently setting up the downfall of #45.

This is a game of chess, while those in the White House believe they are playing checkers, Chinese or otherwise.

The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, has silently called ‘check mate’. And the WH Boys believe that term means going to dinner in a New York Italian restaurant with a friend.

#45 is trying to fire the AG then Mueller. The Senators have declared that if he does this, the attack on the Presidency itself will come under heavy fire leading to impeachment.

Mueller just sits back and as always, is a step ahead of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

#45, grand delusional as ever, is out of moves.

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180 Days


180 days in office
40 days at golf clubs
21 of 26 weekends at Trump properties
42 bills signed
0 pieces of major legislation
8 nations visited
991 tweets (5.5/day)
82 tweets mentioning fake news/fake media/fake stories
46 tweets mentioning jobs
22 tweets mentioning Hillary Clinton
0 number of Walls build
36% approval rating (lowest in 70 years)
1 solo press conference

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Toxicity Tweet To Tumble Tumpty


First you may ask, what is ‘Tumpty’? A good question which deserves a good answer. ‘Tumpty’ is the imaginary twin of ‘Dumpty’, the one with the first name of ‘Humpty’. Nearly always portrayed as a personified egg, ‘Tumpty’ like ‘Dumpty’ has a very thin egg shell. While like the riddle, the fact ‘Humpty Dumpty’ was eighteenth-century reduplicative slang for a person with short hands and in fact, clumsy. Clumsy is more than physical, as it can also be reflective of mental or societal. The assumption is that a clumsy person falling off a wall might not be irreparably damaged, whereas ‘Tumpty’ who is drawn as an egg, would be.

In Sweden or Norway, he is known as ‘Lille Trille’ and in parts of Germany, he is commonly referred to a ‘Runtzelken-Puntzelken’.

But I digress. Because of his shape and of course, sitting on a wall (solar no doubt), he really doesn’t need any of the king’s men because he is diluted in thought believing he really is the king. Now, lore does not explicitly state that ‘Dumpty’ is an egg, possibly because it may have been originally posed as a riddle. Some scholars like Katherine Elwes Thomas proposed that ‘Humpty’ is King Richard III of England, depicted as humpbacked in Tudor histories and particularly in Shakespeare’s play and who was defeated, despite his armies, at Bosworth Field in 1485.

While these tales of fancy were often derided by others as ‘ingenuity for ingenuity’s sake’ and declared to be a spoof, Lewis Carroll, in his ‘Through the Looking Glass’ had Alice ask, ‘I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’? To which Humpty smiled contemptuously, ‘Of course you don’t…till I tell you.’

Ouch!

Alice, the young woman with spunk, still questions, ‘But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean a ‘nice knock-down argument’. To which Humpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean…neither more nor less.’

When asking the Town-Crier during her daily press readings, what the meaning of such a strong statement, the ‘Crier’ states, ‘He is constantly being attacked by this scornful girl, an outsider, a foreigner from our parts. She does the same to me, frankly. What are we to do, say niceties back to her? Enough with this negative press covfefe’.

Ouch2!

Alice continued to be inquisitive and asked, ‘The question is’…’whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The Question is’, Humpty added, ‘which is to be master…that’s all.’ This simple line of gender discrimination sets the tone.

Now at an advanced age, ‘Tumpty’ uses the instrument of toxicity on a platform which Tweets.

After all, he doesn’t care what he says because he believes he is king. All other are chattle.

And a king can say whatever he wants. It simply doesn’t matter to him. No one within his kingdom can do anything to him. Only a strong wind can endanger his position. Is toxicity a strong enough wind?

As all of the King’s men gather in their home grounds over this extended holiday weekend, they will be forced to contemplate if Tumpty would fall, would they put him back together again after all?

Tumpty is tweeting on a twittering wall…attacking this and that, and of course women and all.
Will he fall and will he crack? That is the question (health care?) the King’s men cannot tack.

Berma Shave

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We’ve Been Here Before


The strange case of history repeating itself is ever reoccurring. It feels like we have been here before or as Yogi stated, ‘It’s deja vu all over again.’.

‘Preservation of American Democracy’ is how he said it. Newsweek perhaps said it best, ‘Nothing exactly like it ever happened before in American politics. Willkie had never held public office or even sought it. Virtually a neophyte in politics, he had entered no primaries, made no deals, organized no campaign. . . . His backers were uninitiated volunteers, as strange to the ways of the ward bosses and state chairmen as their hero.’ The new presidential candidate boosted about it, ‘All the headquarters I have are under my hat.’

Sound familiar?

Eighty-Seven years ago today, the Republican Convention got underway in Philadelphia and it was the first time it was ever televised. The convention was a mishmash. Dewey, Taft, some guy named Stassen and an amateur politician took aim at the title of GOP Presidential Candidate.

At the convention, he had only 29% of the vote. But on the 6th ballot he was claimed the victor. The Party was torn apart. The New York faction supporting Dewey was defiant. The Conservative Ohio faction supporting Senator Taft, was steadfast in their candidates rejection. But the nominee stated boldly that he didn’t need any experience to run the country. As he said, ‘All the headquarters I have are under my hat.’

His campaign was full of errors. Campaign errors, in organization; amateur managers and staff, attempted to write all his own speeches, even with speech writer came to many impromptu speeches, his voice could not keep up the speaking schedule. He claimed on the stump that the New Deal had not caused an economic recovery while all evidence was against that statement. He stressed distribution rather than production of goods, both became none issues, especially with the war spending economic upturn. It was as if he wasn’t looking at the country with the same glasses as others.

Willkie’s disagreement with the methods of The Lend Lease program did not help his campaign especially after he attacked that the administration had neglected the nation’s defenses, and the Democrats responded the Republican congress in the 1930s blocked all attempts at defense bills, defense spending increases.

With the Republican slogan, ‘Bring On The Champ’, Willkie made his comeback during the campaign in October 1940 as the anti-war peace candidate, and gained steam in the public opinion polls. ‘Who really thinks that the President is sincerely trying to keep us out of war?” “We are being edged toward war by an administration that is alike careless in speech and action.”… “If you elect me President . . . , no American boys will be sent to the shambles of the European trenches. If his promise to keep our boys out of foreign wars is not better than his promise to balance the budget, they’re almost on the transports! There comes a time when it is very wise to get off that horse in midstream, because if we don’t, both you and the horse will sink. If one man is indispensable, then none of us is free.’

Robert E. Sherwood, one of FDR’s speech-writers on Wilkie creating an anti-war hysteria, ‘The effects of this were felt powerfully in the White House during the last week in October. I had to read the letters and telegrams and reports that flooded in and . . . I was amazed and horrified at the evidences of hysteria. . . . Newspapermen . . . reported mounting waves of fear throughout the country, which might easily merge into tidal proportions by election day and sweep Willkie into office.’

On November 1, 1940, Herbert Hoover, the former President, campaigned in Salt Lake City, Utah, for Wendell Willkie and claimed that the fundamental issue in the present campaign was still “the preservation of democracy,” and that a reelection for Roosevelt would increase his ‘Personal Power’ and it should be defeated. Four day before the campaign, the former defeated President who led the nation into the Great Depression put the nail in the Willkie campaign. ‘The preservation of democracy’ was the nail. Hoover was the hammer. Four days later, on November 5, 1940, Election Day, Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected for an unprecedented third term and Henry Wallace elected Vice President.

That was then…87 years ago. The results of the Republican Convention of that year represents a mirror of what happened in 2016 during the Presidential Campaign. Then, in 1940, America woke up in time. Will it nearly a Century later?

Today’s Wilkie, another businessman with no governmental experience, gained the office of the President of the United States. But during the first half of his first year, the feel of the amateurism found in 1940 has descended within the White House in 2017. History certainly repeats itself because too few bother to remember the past.

If you take the time to look, you…we all…might learn something.

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